Antrocom Online Journal of Anthropology



ISSN 1973-2880

volume 6, number 2, 2010

volume 6, number 2, 2010

EDITORIAL

Antropologia e premi
edited by REDAZIONE

Lo scorso novembre si è concluso, con la scelta della vincitrice, il primo “Premio di Laurea Antrocom”, organizzato al fine di promuovere le discipline attinenti l’antropologia in senso lato dalla medesima Onlus che pubblica questa stessa rivista.

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CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY

“They are poor and violent”: stereotype and the Ibadan urban motor park space
by ADEYEMI JOHNSON ADEMOWO

In this work, we are interested in finding out how, and why, the interplay of poverty and violence, the park stereotypes, has problematised the motor park space, and consequently the culture that evolved from the space. Of great concern to us are the origin and the operation of the park; the existence of these stereotypes, how, if ever, they relate and the implication of the interplay on the organization, operation and representation of the space vis a vis its relationship with the general public and governance in Oyo State. Using Victor Turner’s social drama, we hope to provide explanations for ruptured social relations on the park and why the public is so imbued with the stereotypes that they have refused to appreciate the internal mechanism to redress the ‘constant’ conflicts.

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PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY

A Longitudinal growth study of weight among Lodha and Non-Lodha infants and young children of Lodhasuli, West Bengal, India
by NIRMALYA KUMAR SINHA, SUBAL DAS, KAUSHIK BOSE, DILIP KUMAR NANDI

This is the first community based longitudinal study among the Lodha tribals and non- Lodha children of Lodhasuli, West Bengal, India. The objective of the present longitudinal growth study was to compare the growth in weight of Lodha (tribal) children with the non- Lodha children of two different nearby villages of Midnapore. The weight of 44 boys and 55 girls, from poor-class families in tribal and rural part of the Lodhasuli, Midnapore, were taken at one month interval over periods of up to 24 months. Independent sample ttest were used to compare the weight between sex and caste. Significant differences (p<0.001) in weight among both boys and girls were observed. Significant deviations (p<0.001) in weight were also observed from the NCHS data.

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DIDACTICS

Il Museo Nazionale di Praga e la costruzione dell’identità ceca
by SANDRA BUSATTA

Negli anni 1980 di qua e di là dell’Atlantico veniva fondata la Nuova Museologia, che nelle sue posizioni più estreme, come in Francia, proponeva di abbattere lo scalone monumentale del museo, di abolire la distanza fra il pubblico e il contenuto del museo, e nelle sue espressioni più moderate, in Gran Bretagna, negli USA e in Canada, si proponeva di rompere con la vecchia museologia attraverso l’adozione di nuove tecniche e di un nuovo linguaggio che permettessero di rivisitare il ruolo sociale e politico del museo, senza però cedere a un eccesso di populismo.

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CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY

Profiling modern risks. An appraisal of the works of bauman, beck, castel, giddens and baudrillard
by MAXIMILIANO E. KORSTANJE

Undoubtedly, the fear can be seen a grounding emotion broadly studied by psychology, sociology and anthropology for many years. Every end of millennium represents for human beings a new embodiment of their beliefs, their production, forms of consumption and even their hierarchical lines of authority. As privileged witnesses of the starting of a new millennium, one might realize how the sentiment of unprotection has been disseminated as a virus world-wide. Ranging from appalling events such as 11/09 towards the Swine Flu recently appeared in Mexico, the perception of lay-people of what is or not dangerous seem to be changed for-ever. Under such a context, the present theoretical manuscript explores the connection of risk and fear at the time it delves into the main contributions and limitations of Jean Baudrillard, Anthony Giddens, Robert Castel, Ulrich Beck and Zygmunt Bauman. From different angles, every-one of cited scholars will give to reader an insight view of the role played by risk and fear in our modern society.

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Socio-Psychological Status of Female Heads of Households in Rajshahi City, Bangladesh
by ZOHRA HABIB TANZIMA

This study describes and examines the resource position and socio-psychological status of female heads of household in Rajshahi city of Bangladesh. For this, 120 households led by females were selected by convenience sampling from Rajshahi city, Bangladesh. The women heads were individually interviewed with semi-structured questionnaire method, focusing on access to resources and socio-psychological problems of the women who lead and run their households. The results of descriptive analysis and in-depth interviews suggest that absence of a male breadwinner and the lack of tangible resources led to a situation of increased vulnerability for the female heads of households in Rajshahi city, Bangladesh that, in turn, affect socio-psychological status of the female heads adversely. The study also suggests that the intangible resources like informal social support had, to some extent, compensated the scarcity of tangible resources for the female heads. In order to overcome the situations of female heads of households some policy implications are suggested. Based on probability sampling further research on this issue should be conducted in Bangladesh.

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HISTORY OF RELIGIONS

Crow e cani
Ipotesi sul ruolo del cane nei codici animali Crow

by MARCO MENICOCCI

I cani assumono diversi valori all’interno del cosmo Crow. Essi, in età precoloniale presenti in gran numero negli accampamenti, erano di ausilio negli spostamenti e assumevano in questa funzione il compito di simbolizzare il “centro”, il punto di riferimento. Per questa loro funzione di marcare la dimensione domestica e usuale, quando per compiere rituali occorreva situarsi al di fuori della normalità, l’operatore rituale non poteva incrociare i cani. Essi costituiscono, all’interno dei codici animali usato dai Crow, il polo del consueto e del domestico, mentre i lupi hanno quello di mediatore con il diverso e ad altri animali spetta il compito di segnalare diversi livelli di alterità.

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Nascere da Medusa Studio sul parto di Gorgo e sulle caratteristiche dei suoi figli
by IGOR BAGLIONI

Così Esiodo narra la nascita di Pegasos e Chrysaor, progenie di Poseidon e Medusa. Al riguardo, la tradizione antica, nella maggioranza delle fonti a nostra disposizione, tende a sottolineare come la loro nascita fosse avvenuta dal capo troncato di Gorgo, dal suo collo, in un parto che poteva essere paragonato alla gestazione delle donnole e, nonostante la sua particolarità, probabilmente non estraneo ad una relazione con la concezione greca della fisiologia femminile.

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CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY

Enigma of the Ngati Hotu
by KERRY R. BOLTON

Polynesian origins have been the subject of wide-ranging speculation since the Age of Discovery. The colonial era in which the theory of diffusionism was in vogue subjected Polynesian origins to whatever source was regarded as the source of a “World Civilization.” One notable feature recorded by the earliest explorers and colonial settlers alike, was the enigmatic presence of “golden” and “red hair” among Polynesians. These red haired individuals and entire families were called among the islanders “kehu”, and among the Maori of New Zealand “Urukehu”, giving rise to wide ranging speculation as to Polynesians origins, ranging from the Lost Tribes of Israel to South American Indians. In recent years, with indigenous claims being settled under the Treaty of Waitangi in New Zealand among the claimants are remnants of the mysterious Ngati Hotu, thought to have long been extinct prior to European colonial settlement. This essay examines this enigmatic “urukehu” people, whose continued existence has been hitherto unrecognised.

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Jagua Nakam: a look into its properties, and its revelations on garo lifeways
by MARAK QUEENBALA

A single item of food at times tells many things about a society. The present paper aims to look at the importance and properties of jagua nakam, an item that is hugely sought-after among Garos, a tribe from north-eastern India and northern Bangladesh. Its importance lies in its gastronomic appreciation and habitual consumption. Narratives point to a similar feature. Interestingly, this single item of food consumption tells us much more about the people and their society.

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Death rituals in Albania: an anthropological review
di VYSHKA GENTIAN, ÇIPI BARDHYL

The structure of death rituals differs consistently among regions of Albania. The death ritual contains very strong patriarchal features in the Northern part of the country; in southern regions (next to the seashore) and in Albanian communities living elsewhere in the Mediterranean basin, the features are more animistic; the females playing an important role in grief proclamation, suggesting a more matriarchaloriented ritual organization. The wailing of men in the northern Albania, the so-called gjama, is an organized ritual of crying for the dead person, and till recently it has been accompanied with self-punishing behaviors such as face scratching etc. The wailing of women is acceptable and codified as well in the northern areas (the so-called wailing of milk). A different situation, probably related to the social organization and to the gender role of females, is apparent in southern Albania. The death rituals hereby are mainly accompanied from the so-called “kuja”, (wailing through words) more impressive and loquacious than the northern masculine “gjama”. Similarities with Greek and Hellenic rituals (“Thrênos” and “Goös”) are suggested; probably embedding multiple cross-acting and inter-related influences.

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Rajbansi festivals decoding indigenous knowledge system
di ASHOK DAS GUPTA

Indigenous Knowledge System/ IKS and the set of local-level material apparatus are dependent upon non-adaptive domains of the folk life (>folk culture>material apparatus). Altogether non-reflective intangible part of culture (cultural values, social norms, folkways, taboo and traditional belief); reflective and tangible part (set of material apparatus) and reflective but non-tangible part (information, knowledge and traditional technologies constituting TKS) constitute the Folk Life. Here, various aspects play major influence on the issue of Folk Life, such as, mode of communication (formal and informal): firstly, with people via exchange of goods/message/women/power of word; secondly, with nature via TKS; and thirdly, with Super Nature via performances (cultural/ social/ magical/ religious/ agricultural-seasonal) during religious festivals and other ceremonies. The network so formed maintains connectivity among agrofacts, artifacts, sociofacts and mentifacts/psychofacts; and in this way, the traditional social system (again highly non-adaptive) is built up on composition of various institutions. Of various institutions in traditional social system (non-adaptive); IKS (adaptive) is generally tested in the religious laboratory of survival (religious institution). Within the traditional folk life of Rajbansi agrarian rural structure of northern West Bengal, a study has been conducted to quarry the role of their festivals in proper management of IKS as they could communicate with social system, nature and super-nature as well.

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MEDICAL ANTHROPOLOGY

Cultural and socio-economic factors in health, health services and prevention for indigenous people
by ISLAM RAKIBUL, SHEIKH MASHHOOD AHMED

Indigenous people across the world experience more health related problems as compared to the population at large. So, this review article is broadly an attempt to highlight the important factors for indigenous peoples’ health problems, and to recommend some suggestions to improve their health status. Standard database for instance, Pubmed, Medline, Google scholar, and Google book searches have been used to get the sources. Different key words, for example, indigenous people and health, socio-economic and cultural factors of indigenous health, history of indigenous peoples’ health, Australian indigenous peoples’ health, Latin American indigenous peoples’ health, Canadian indigenous peoples’ health, South Asian indigenous peoples’ health, African indigenous peoples’ health, and so on, have been used to find the articles and books. This review paper shows that along with commonplace factors, indigenous peoples’ health is affected by some distinctive factors such as indigeneity, colonial and post-colonial experience, rurality, lack of governments’ recognition etc., which nonindigenous people face to a much lesser degree. In addition, indigenous peoples around the world experience various health problems due to their varied socio-economic and cultural contexts. Finally, this paper recommends that the spiritual, physical, mental, emotional, cultural, economic, socio-cultural and environmental factors should be incorporated into the indigenous health agenda to improve their health status.

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